I have lost the nap war

It’s official, Arthur is no longer napping during the day. I have lost the nap war.

I have lost the nap war, how it happened and what I'm gonna do about it

I have written about previous nap battles in the past. We’ve had struggles, but in the end I’ve always ‘won’ and nap time would continue. Little blimps have occurred here and there but Arthur would always end up napping again.
I suppose it was always inevitable that despite him losing these battles, Arthur would always win the war.

A long time ago I remember reading somewhere that kids need to nap until they were three. I would always remember that during times when Arthur would resist going down for a nap. It would be my motivation to keep trying to get him to sleep. Now Arthur is 2.5 years and I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out on an extra 6 months of nap times, I guess like all parenting advice out there, we’ve learned to take it with a pinch of salt!


How we knew it was time to let it go.
Arthur was always great at nap time, we could put him in his bedroom and we would know he’d be asleep within a couple of minutes.
Over the last few months it’s been taking him longer and longer to go down for a nap.
I initially put his nap time back by an hour and this did help for a short while. Even then it was not long before he started taking ages to go down, I’m talking over an hour.

When he would eventually go to sleep, I’d give him his couple hours and then go and wake him up. He’d then be in an unbelievably bad mood. This wasn’t too bad when we could snap him out of it within 20 mins or so. The problem came when it started taking him around an hour to get out of a serious grump.
When I’m talking about a grump, I don’t just mean in a bit of a bad mood – I can relate to being in a bit of a bad mood when I get up. I mean a foul horrible mega tantrum filled mood.

We tried a few different ways to try and solve these issues. Waking him up nice and slowly with lots of cuddles. Waking him up quickly and leaving him to it. Pretty much everything in between.
We tried shortening his nap. We tried running him ragged until he without doubt definitely needed a sleep.

In the end when it was generally taking more than an hour for him to go to sleep and then around the same time to get him back to his usual happy self. We decided that it wasn’t worth the upset for us all. We would try and struggle through and see how we go.

You might think that I’ve given up to soon, with this. Believe me that’s not the case, I am going to seriously miss Arthur’s nap time. Those two hours were my time; to do some blogging, to eat my lunch in peace, to do nothing in particular!
It’s been Christmas holiday’s and Its been really nice having Mark home but I’m honestly a little worried about how I will cope when he goes back to school.

Obviously there’s Freddie to entertain too and I feel bad that he now won’t be getting any solo time with me.


What we are gonna do about it

So looking forward, my plan is to try and ensure that I’ve got lots of activities planned for Arthur, to keep him from being bored, because if there’s one thing that’s worse than a tired toddler, it’s a tired and bored toddler!!
It would be easy for me to just stick the TV on but I’m trying to limit that! Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way frowning on TV, I’m not sure how I’d get through the day without it at all but I know we function better when there’s some structure to TV time (Arthur knows when he can have it and when he can’t and so it limits whining!)
I am also going to test out some “down time” for Arthur where he’s in his bedroom without sleeping, if anyone has any tips for this please let me know!!

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Arthur will be starting at school, in June. It will be a blink of an eye until he’s there. I will do my best to remind myself of this on the tougher days and try to enjoy every second with my little guy!

In just a couple of weeks we have already noticed Arthur’s night time sleep adjusting. He has always been a really early riser, getting up around 5am ish. 6 would be a mega lie in for us! However, we are now getting 6am as the normal and have even had some 7-7:30am wake ups. This is a definite bonus of losing nap time! There have been a couple times, when we’ve had really busy days that Arthur has crashed out on the sofa or fallen asleep in the car. Not for any considerable amount of time and he doesn’t seem to be quite as grumpy when waking up from these.


Have you lost the nap war yet, or are you still living the nap time dream with your little ones?
Any tips on quiet time/down time for toddlers I’d love to hear them!

5 thoughts on “I have lost the nap war”

  • Reading these updates bring back so many memories of when my two were this age. Emma stopped napping pretty soon after Martha was born too, I remember how pee’d off I was! It was the only time in the day I got anything done. I now have no recollection of how I got through the days, it was all a bit of a blur. I do remember the late afternoons/early evenings being harder for a while though as she was so tired by then without a nap. But the worst thing was if she fell asleep around 4pm as then I knew she would never get to sleep at night. I used to put her in the bath if this looked like it was going to happen, woke her up and occupied her for a bit!!!

  • T was very hit and miss with his naps and when A started school in September he dropped them completely as her school pick up clashed with his nap time – nightmare! It’s amazing how quickly they adjust though – the down time sounds like a great idea x
    Donna recently posted…Living Arrows – 1/52My Profile

    • Thanks donna! I was actually thinking of you when I wrote this as I remember you telling me A stopped napping when T arrived and me panicking about nap time ending, this was ages ago too haha! Xx

  • My son also dropped his nap by 2.5 – at first I thought I’d never cope but I enjoyed the easier bedtimes and not having to struggle to get him to nap. Since his younger brother started afternoon naps, we have a kind of enforced downtime boundaried by his brother’s nap. So while his brother is sleeping, we have quiet time, whether that is TV/DVD, ipad, reading, puzzles, books, drawing or whatever. Personally I need the downtime too, so it has to be an activity he can do independently. Friends of mine have also recommended audio books for this – they can sit/lie on their bed and listen to stories.

    Good luck!

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